Youth leadership focus of conference

Kate PollardThe West Australian
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Growing youth leadership will be a key theme at the 20th Australian Women in Agriculture Conference next month in Albany.

The three-day program starts on Friday, August 9, and features Nuffield scholars, Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation Rural Women's Award winners, Australian Rural Leadership alumni and ABC Heywire winners.

"While our 20-year history may have begun in a time where women weren't recognised as farmers and as equals, our diverse membership now spans generationally and right across industry, no matter location or vocation," Marion Rak, AWiA president and horticulturalist said.

In partnership with the RIRDC Horizon Scholarship program, the conference will include a "growing youth leadership workshop" for aspiring leaders.

It will involve young women from across WA, including the Heywire winners and students from WA College of Agriculture in Denmark.

The women will form an interactive panel and pitch ideas on how to create more vibrant rural communities.

Conference organiser Elizabeth Brennan said the aim was to develop a project suitable for use once the conference ended.

"It's a way for us to engage the wonderful women who have been part of our 20-year history, and the new upcoming, vibrant, energetic women who may not have been exposed to a national network like this to give them the opportunity to connect and grow," she said.

"It's engaging between the generations."

Other topics include productivity and planning for profit, managing the future of agriculture, and championing farming.

The conference includes a celebratory 20-year dinner and annual general meeting.

AWiA is Australia's first national organisation representing women in agriculture.

For more information and to register visit awia.org.au.

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